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malaise

This post may not make any sense. Which, I guess, is par for the course. I can't really remember the last time I wrote something that I liked, or was excited by. Actually, that is a lie, I can. The last three things that come to mind arose during the #wwb challenges, the first being the Bladerunner still inspired Umami and the second (chronologically the first) the jumpingcrosswordfairy short Cobweb and finally the so-much-better-now-it-has-been-edited-by-Ciara version of the metamorphosis/apocalypse short (untitled). Since then, zilch, nada, natch, nil, etc (you get the idea). I have had a few stories that I like the sound of, but nothing that has flowed from this fingertips has been, well, right.

So what am I saying? When I step back from what I am writing at the moment (nanowrimo currently) I realise I really don't care for  it. This isn't necessarily to do with the mechanics of writing, or the putting together of words and sentences and paragraphs. I can write, I know I can write (although you may beg to differ).

It is the putting together of stories I am having a problem with. Looking at this year's nano story I have come up with a few observations; it isn't great, it doesn't add anything new, I am fairly confident I wouldn't pick up it to read if I had the option. It is already old, tired, decrepit and turgid, and I am only a few thousand words in.

I do, however, love the characters. All of them. They are the highlight of my 8.5k words so far. They, the poor fools, just have the misfortune to be stuck in quite a dull narrative.

Last year's effort was risible. Or execrable. Possibly both. It got the words out, had an okay premise (it is set in the same world as this year's attempt) but with all the charm and excitement of, I don't know, a long abandoned rubbish heap. I once described it as Die Hard without the calm, reflective bits. And possibly without the cool characterisation.

The previous year's effort is one I still love, and have been working on on-and-off for the last two years. I love the characters, the idea, and most of the story. I just have this gaping hole in the middle of it that I cannot resolve and so it sits on the back-burner, tinkered with in bursts.

This is not a nano thing. I am not at the end of week one with 200 words, no plan and a mountain to climb. I have a plan, I will have no problem knocking the story out, and I am, despite a day off from writing yesterday, still ahead of schedule.

This is about my writing in general. This is about a malaise of spirit, about an utter lack of confidence in whether or not I can write. I had the same thing with my photography (something people seem to think I am pretty good at) and I am still in that funk.

I am really, really struggling with this. And I have been for some time. There are days I just want to weep. Today is one of them.

I need to get my head down and keep writing, no matter how I feel about what is coming out. I know this, and I know some of what you will say and what you will think. And yes, it is all probably true.

Sometimes, you just have to get on with it, and I am. But first, a shower, and then a trip to the local coffee shop for something strong. And then I will write. Because that is what I do. Despite this being how I may feel:

the power of a shower

facebook update - day 3 - nanowrimo